Riding in the Rain

Many people are worried about riding in the rain. There is nothing to be scared of, but your riding style does need to alter.

Pit-Stop Training Riding in the Rain

Pit-Stop Training Riding in the Rain

Just remember that the roads are wet, and you have to adapt.

Wet weather can affect your physical and mental condition, how far you can see and how your machine handles.

If its been raining for quite some time the roads wont be quite so bad as when its only just started to rain. When it first rains the oil on the previous dry surface can re-emerge and make the tarmac quite slippery and unstable. If its been raining for quite some time this may have washed the top slippery surface away.

The things on the road to think about are mainly manhole covers and painted lines.

Manhole covers are fine to ride over in an upright and straight line position. This will cause you little issue. If you steer, brake/ accelerate, or bank heavily whilst on them will lead to grip issues.

 

Skidding is caused by someone doing something excessive on the surface road they are riding on. For example braking heavily on dry tarmac is not usually a problem, but doing this on loose gravel will cause issues.

So braking too heavily, accelerating too heavily or leaning too much, beyond the tyres grip capacity will cause a skid.

Forward planning and reading the road surfaces is paramount, watch the 2nd car in front to give you an early warning, use throttle smoothly, a shiny road may be diesel or oil. A sudden change may cause a slippage.

Braking distances in the wet will be twice that of dry conditions, so the 2 second rule should increase to 4 seconds.

Bikes with ABS and/or traction control will be better than ones not having these aids.

600 cc bikes are heavier and the tyres are usually twice as wide, therefore will have more grip, this means that 125cc will be less stable and also susceptible to wind blasts in between buildings, hedges etc

If there is flood or pooling of water on the road the bike may lift up and fly up causing it to aquaplane, like a stone skimming across water.

If the road looks extra shiny you need to tone it down a bit as it could be standing water, the water may force its way under the tyres and lift it up off the road.

Braking should be applied 50% front brake, 50% rear brake with easing pressure. As you approach junctions, roundabouts etc the front brake then back brake should be applied. As you are getting closer easing the pressure off the front brake, leaving back brake applied then feather off the back brake.

When braking, its best to be sat upright and travelling in a straight line.

You should relax as you hold onto the handlebars, you don’t want to squeeze the life out of them, being tense may cause jolting motion where as you want a smooth action.

Tyre condition and tread depth. The legal requirement is 1mm, however the grooves are there to disperse the water away giving traction. So the deeper the tread depth the better they are to disperse the water.

Try not to coast (leaving clutch in for long periods) whilst riding in the rain, also use a flexible gear as this will allow the bike to slow down using the engine to help brake and reduce speed.

 

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